Articles Posted in Minimum Wage

There are lots of reasons an employer might want to pay a worker or former employee in an unconventional way. It might be a marketing promotion, it might be an attempt to embrace cutting-edge currencies, or it might be a passive-aggressive expression of hostility. Whatever the reason, workers and employers alike should recognize that when work is compensated in anything other than cash, electronic payment (like a direct deposit,) or a negotiable instrument (like a check,) that compensation method has the potential to run afoul of the Fair Labor Standards Act. A knowledgeable Atlanta wage and hour lawyer can help you, as a worker, determine if the compensation you received complies with the law or not.

Some months ago, this blog covered a disgruntled Georgia employer who caught the attention of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for the non-traditional way it paid a fired worker’s final wages. The $915 payment arrived in the worker’s driveway, in the form of a wheelbarrow full of 572 pounds of “oil-soaked” pennies. That, plus a final pay stub with an expletive written on it, amounted to illegal retaliation, according to the EEOC.

More recently, news outlets focused on an unusual work arrangement at a fast food establishment in North Carolina. A Chick Fil A restaurant there posted to its Facebook page that it sought “volunteers” to work at its new “Drive Thru Express.” The so-called volunteers would receive “5 free entrees” for each one-hour shift they worked.

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Employers in the auto services industry improperly paying their workers in ways that do not comply with federal minimum wage and/or overtime laws is not uncommon. In fiscal year 2021 alone, The U.S. Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division performed more than 500 investigations of employers in the auto services industry. In total, the Labor Department found that more than 3,500 workers had been illegally shortchanged. The division recovered more than $4 million in back wages. If you think your employer has illegally miscalculated your overtime rate, your compensable hours, or otherwise violated the law, it is well worth your while to contact an experienced Atlanta minimum wage and unpaid overtime lawyer.

Most recently, the Wage and Hour Division launched an investigation into a tire and auto service shop in Canton. At the investigation’s end, the Labor Department concluded that the shop had violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by improperly underpaying 19 workers a total of more than $161,000.

One violation related to withheld paychecks. For some of the workers, the employer did not pay them anything during their first pay period. The employers say the held-back paychecks were a uniform deposit. The Labor Department said it was an FLSA violation.

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In certain areas of business, sports, or life in general, it is often said that “timing is everything.” If you are someone whose employer has failed to pay you appropriate overtime compensation or pay you in accordance with minimum wage laws, timing isn’t everything but it is undeniably a crucially important thing. Waiting too long can mean a case outcome where you recover nothing, regardless of how strong your proof is. If you’ve illegally underpaid, don’t wait to act. Go out as soon as possible to talk to a knowledgeable Atlanta unpaid overtime or minimum wage lawyer about your situation.

A recent overtime and minimum wage case from a federal court in neighboring Florida is a reminder of how important a thorough understanding of how the statutes of limitations, and the deadlines they impose, are.

In that case, J.R. worked at a motel in Lakeland, Florida, starting in 2010. According to her complaint, the woman averaged roughly 98 per week on the job. In return, the motel owner allegedly paid her anywhere from $0 to $30 per week.

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Lots of workers know the drill. Officially, your workday begins at 8:00 am or 9:00 am or whenever, but it doesn’t really begin at that time. “Eight o’clock” means you have to be ready to take calls or manufacture items or enter data into a computer at 8:00, which means that your workday actually begins at 7:50 or 7:45 or 7:whatever, when you have to be at your workstation and get started prepping for the tasks that must start at the top of the hour. What you may not know, however, is that those minutes prepping may potentially count in calculating overtime pay and in determining whether your pay meets the minimum wage. If your employer isn’t counting this time, it is possible your employer is shortchanging you in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Get in touch with an Atlanta minimum wage and overtime lawyer to find out more.

The law says that certain forms of preparation are things that must be counted when calculating your total hours worked. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, employers’ failure “to count and properly pay for pre-shift work is a common violation” of the FLSA and other related federal laws.

A recent example of this kind of FLSA violation involved a company based in neighboring Florida that the Labor Department cited for violating the law, affecting dozens of workers, the Miami Herald reported.

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In almost all areas of the law, there’s a certain interplay between federal law and state law because, when it comes to a lot of subject areas, both have laws addressing and governing that topic. Here in Georgia, that’s true about a lot of employment law-related issues, including everything from age discrimination to the minimum wage to overtime pay. The key in any situation is to know whether federal law or state law applies to your circumstance. Doing this often requires in-depth knowledge of the law, which is why it pays to have an experienced Atlanta minimum wage attorney handling your case.

The hashtag #todayilearned (or TIL for short,) which loosely equates to the more well-worn “Did you know?”, is a common meme on social media. There’s even an entire subreddit (a/k/a subgroup) on the popular internet community Reddit devoted to people sharing things they newly learned.

What does that have to do with Georgia employment law? Perhaps not much, but there is this: a few years ago, members of the Reddit community discussed the fact that Georgia state law sets the minimum wage at $5.15 per hour, beneath the federal law minimum wage of $7.25. That amount remains the Georgia minimum wage today. (Georgia and Wyoming have the lowest state minimum wages, and Georgia’s is not set to go up in 2022.)

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An American psychotherapist became famous after he published a self-help book entitled Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff… and it’s all Small Stuff. While that may be great advice in terms of mental health, the exact opposite is often true in legal matters. Many times, the small stuff is the stuff most worth sweating, as something very small may make a very big difference in terms of success versus defeat. That’s why a knowledgeable Atlanta worker misclassification lawyer is so valuable to you, as your attorney will spot all of the small stuff that is most definitely worth sweating.

Here in Georgia, workers, when it comes to minimum wage and overtime, often rely on the protections written into federal law. With that in mind, even cases from outside Georgia may offer very useful insights for you and your minimum wage and overtime case.

A recent Fair Labor Standards Act case from North Carolina is a good example. The case involved an industry where minimum wage and overtime disputes are common: adult entertainment. The plaintiff was an exotic dancer at a club in the Raleigh, North Carolina area. Her lawsuit alleged that the club improperly classified her as an independent contractor when she really was an employee and, in the process, improperly failed to meet the overtime and minimum wage obligations of the FLSA.

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Delivery drivers face many challenges in the performance of their jobs. For some drivers, those difficulties might include unsafe drivers on the road, employers who impose unrealistic goals, and unruly dogs at residences. A more insidious problem some delivery drivers face is receiving what amounts to sub-minimum wages in violation of the law. If you think that is happening or has happened to you, you should talk to a knowledgeable Atlanta minimum wage lawyer about your circumstance.

One company that has found itself connected to multiple minimum wage cases involving its delivery drivers is Domino’s, the nationwide pizza chain. Delivery drivers have filed cases against Domino’s and/or its franchisees in Georgia, Washington, and New Jersey, just to name three.

The Georgia case, filed last year in the federal court for the Middle District of Georgia, was recently resolved via a settlement. Terms of the settlement, of which the parties informed the court on Oct. 22, 2021, were not made public.

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If you work in many parts of the service industry, you know the importance of tips to your overall income. That’s because tipped workers’ base minimum “cash wage” is only $2.13 per hour under the Fair Labor and Standards Act. There are circumstances, though, where your employer is not entitled to pay you this lower wage, even if your job position is that of a tipped worker. If you think that you’ve been unfairly denied your proper wages, you should act without delay to contact an Atlanta minimum wage lawyer.

Some places have state laws that impose higher minimum wage obligations on employers than the FLSA does. Georgia is not one of those states. The federal law, though, does erect some rules to safeguard tipped workers. As a recent minimum wage case reminds us, one of those things is that, even if you work as a tipped restaurant server, your employer cannot pay you the tipped worker wage and then assign you to tasks that do not allow you to earn tips.

L.R., the plaintiff, worked as a server at a diner. According to the server, the employer required her to perform various tasks other than serving guests. These jobs included an array of things, ranging from re-stocking the salad bar to cleaning the restaurant to rolling silverware inside napkins. None of these tasks involved interacting with customers so none of the time spent on them presented an opportunity to earn a tip.

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June 2021 brought yet another lawsuit against an Atlanta-area gentlemen’s club due to the club’s alleged failure to comply with minimum wage and overtime laws in its payment of its dancers. This is not the first time that a Georgia club has been hauled into court for this kind of legal violation. For those both inside and outside the strip club industry, a failure to receive the pay the law demands means an unfairly diminished degree of financial security. Don’t suffer in silence; instead, get in touch with a knowledgeable Atlanta minimum wage and overtime lawyer right away.

This latest Fair Labor Standards Act case involved a strip club located in Clayton County. The plaintiffs were two of the club’s dancers who alleged that the pay they received violated both minimum wage and overtime laws.

According to one of the dancers, she worked more than 1,000 unpaid hours across five months, 200 of which were overtime hours. The second dancer had it even worse, working more than 2,400 unpaid hours across 13 months, including 600 hours of overtime, according to the complaint. All told, the club allegedly owed the dancers more than $27,000 and $55,000, respectively.

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When you retain a knowledgeable Atlanta minimum wage lawyer, you are getting more than just the things that that attorney knows about the law itself. You are also getting the benefit of everything that that lawyer knows about trials and trial practice, including all of the procedural rules and requirements. You are getting your counsel’s knowledge of a case’s value, derived from his/her past professional experiences. When you choose the right attorney, you are getting a wealth of knowledge in all of these areas, which can help at every step along the way, including making settlement-versus-litigation decisions or carrying out an appeal.

Taking the correct steps at each of these junctures is crucial to maximizing your success. A minimum wage case that was recently before the federal 11th Circuit Court of Appeals is a good example.

The worker in the case, R.V., was a salesman at a vehicle dealership. The salesman’s lawsuit alleged that the employer forced him to work off the clock without paying him a minimum wage, in addition to other violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act. The salesman asserted that the employer owed him more than $12,700 in damages.

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